It Matters Who You Know

The thought of networking makes my stomach rumble and sends a notification on my Apple Watch to breathe. While I’ve always dreaded networking, industry events, and meet-ups, in hindsight, connecting and building 'my tribe' has driven me to become more than I thought possible. A piece of advice that I wish I’d committed to earlier in my career: Get networking. Go find and build your tribe. Connecting with people is a source of inspiration, energy, learning, improvement, motivation, and more for me. That doesn’t come from the echo chamber of connecting with the same people, but from building new connections. This week I attended a leadership development conference after much waffling whether I should attend or not. When I got to yes, I made the choice to go all-in, to be a sponge and give as much to it as it would give me. We were asked at the beginning of the first day why were we there. The group of like-minded connectors shared many of the same intentions: To grow. Get re-energized. Take action. Get inspired. Connect. Learn. Take risks. You had me at hello. I was quickly reminded that while networking is anxiety-provoking for me, it produces a fuel that inspires me to create what I once thought impossible for myself. This past year networking has had a compounding effect on me and my life from the connections that have made me smarter, filled me up, and helped me when I needed it most. 1+1=3 If the thoughts of ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’m too busy’ are coming up as you read this, consider this… Busy is a thought that prioritizes today over your future. Too busy and not enough time are thoughts that prevent you from growing and limit what’s possible for you. Don’t be one of those dedicated to your job to the detriment of your career. According to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. According to CNBC, 70% of jobs are never published publicly. Here's what's most important: don’t be skimpy when it comes to networking. Networking is a two-way street. Show up for your connections. Extend yourself to them. When you do, you become a better version of yourself to take back to your job or your business. Being a networking warrior works only if you are sincere and in mutual pursuit of your connection. Don’t ask what can this person do for me. Ask, ‘how can I help?’ How are you building your tribe? Where are you stretching your network? When you make a commitment to yourself and your future by committing to networking and deepening your connections even when time is tight, you will grow and become better in countless ways with compounding results. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is that you can’t do it all by yourself. This week, I was reminded how important it is to get out of my comfort zone, to be vulnerable. To go all in to invest in me by investing in my tribe. Get out there to build your tribe of like-minded ninjas whose superpowers will help you build your superpowers.

One last thing...Rea-Ann Silver, Beautyblender founder, shared this networking advice -- if you get that pit in your stomach when you are meeting someone new for the first time, think about them sitting on the toilet. Yup, it works.


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